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Why Are We Doing This?

…is the most important question of all. It’s your safety net. It’s a reminder to get back on track.

The most prevalent resource drain I’ve encountered in business is the “one-off” big idea. We love the big idea because it’s shiny and new and exciting. The big idea has big potential, but it rarely works out. In fact, it usually sucks resources away from the initiatives that actually do have a shot at helping us meet our goals and objectives.

The big idea that works is the one that supports an existing strategy. It complements current initiatives. It fits the plan and makes everything better. The progression is this: first comes the strategy, then come the tactics (or big ideas). So, the question should be, “What are some big ideas to make this strategy come to life?” Rather than, “How are we going to fit this big idea into our plans?”

This issue is often a matter of timing. We can’t focus on everything all the time, so a strategy helps us focus on one thing at a time. A big idea that comes at the wrong time often becomes a bad idea (or at least a distraction). So, shelve it. Stick to the plan. Bring it back when the time is right.


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